Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cultivate Yours Sons Character through Powerful Role Models


Can you recall the influential people in your youth?  Perhaps they made an impression because they took a special interest in you, challenged you, or respected your opinions.  Studies show teens that have mentoring relationships are more likely to challenge themselves by taking positive life risks.  Their decisions about drinking, drugs and sex become significantly influenced. (2006 SADD, Inc./Liberty Mutual Group study of 3,312 students)

While Mom is the most influential person in a child’s formative years, there is a natural psychological shift that occurs from mom to dad.  Boys in particular require adult males to respect, get approval from and model their manhood after.   If there isn’t a man in the home, explore ways to incorporate positive male mentors.


My husband and I mutually desire that our sons be able to face adversity as well as mundane tasks with a faithful zeal.  We began introducing ordinary people whose lives exemplify extraordinary faith:

Great Hero Stories for children.  These may include Bible heroes, missionaries, business people, etc.  Several nights a week, give the boys their own time with dad, reading and casually discussing the story.  These stories can be found in children’s books or c.d.’s at your local bookstore and Christian book source.

Tell Your Story.  Our boys call these “Daddy Stories”.  They sit in the Jacuzzi or by the fire while my husband tells stories of growing up, stories of struggles and faith in his workplace or mission trips.  Casually he tells the stories, often with laughter, always with purpose.  When our 12 year old returned from his first mission trip overseas, he told his peers, “My original motivation to go on a mission trip was because my parents always told me stories that sounded so fun”.

Serve Together.  Care for a neighbor, serve in a soup kitchen, walk a 5k for the homeless.  Locate opportunities by calling your local Salvation Army, soup kitchen, or church.  You may hesitate now, but your heart will be bursting after your first experience!  I have seen babies, young children, and our own special needs child able to give back to the community.  Your son will learn life is not all about him, he will notice those in need.  The unspoken power of serving beside role models will cultivate his character.


 Purposely introduce like-minded people to your son.

Movie Night.  Boys respond to war stories; great classics that tell true stories of heroism.  “To Hell and Back” was the first war movie our sons viewed. Selfless and courageous, Audie Murphy led by example.  He was small, faced personal obstacles, but became the most decorated war hero in history.  “Chariots of Fire” is another great choice.

Give them You.  Stay involved and interested.  Hang out, have fun, keep communication open.

Casual Mentors with Similar Interests. Contact your local college or church requesting an exceptional student with the sport or skill interest of your son.  Interview him and offer to pay him to coach your son.  Encourage the relationship with family barbeques, etc.

Extracurricular Activities with an organization.  Connect with church youth groups, Campus Life, Junior Achievement, Boy Scouts.  These organizations have volunteers who want to influence youth.  Bill Beausay calls them Pockets of Power, “All you need to do is arrange transportation, give thanks to God for people like this, and get out of the way”. (“Shaping the Man Inside Teenage Boys”)

Woman Gone Wise

1 comment:

  1. I loved this article! I can't seem to post on the actual blogs, but think that so many of the articles are amazing and helpful. Thanks for all of youf dedication to helping change lives!
    Andrea Howe